Fifteen dollars can get you pretty far, if you spend it wisely. It can buy you a ticket to an interactive show this week, like Eric Andre's raucous comedy set or the re-imagined Nutcracker at the LACDC. You could attend a special film event for '50s pinup Bettie Page. Or, if you're flat broke, skip the shows and take in some art at one of three free gallery shows we recommend. This list of seven events in Los Angeles area can help you get the best bang for your hard-earned buck.
7. Bettie Page Revealed
When 1950s pinup avatar Bettie Page died in 2008, her devoted fans felt not unlike how you'd feel after a painful breakup. Who exactly was this person they'd loved for all this time? After retiring at 34, Page resolutely refused to be filmed or photographed -- even as a new generation of fans fell in love with her work in the '80s. Before she died, however, Page busted some of the myths about her disappearance for director Mark Mori's new documentary on her life. Still refusing to be seen on-screen, she tells her story as a disembodied voice (spoiler alert: Vocal cords age, too). Tonight's premiere of Bettie Page Reveals All features Mori introducing the film and explaining a little bit more about what Page was "really like." Not to be outdone, there's a special burlesque performance by Victory Variety Hour and a Best Retro Style contest with prizes from Bettie Page Clothing and other related couturiers -- because they didn't call them "skin flicks" for nothing. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., W.L.A.; Fri., Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.; plays through Thurs., Dec. 5; $11 general, $8.50 seniors. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com/market/losangeles/nuarttheatre.htm. --David Cotner
6. The Nutcracker, Remixed
It's hard to think of a better launch for the annual December onslaught of Nutcracker ballets than Urban Nut, a contemporary riff on the classic from artistic director Kate Hutter and her L.A. Contemporary Dance Company. At each performance, an audience member is chosen to participate as Clara (or Clarence), who falls asleep at a performance of The Nutcracker, only to be drawn into a dream where the traditional story takes on modern-day elements, including a colorful cast of L.A. characters and an au courant soundtrack. (Only audience members who submit their name on arrival will be recruited, so shy dance lovers need not worry.) Company members Melissa Schade, Kim Thompson, Paolo Alcedo, Kate Andrews, Marcelo De Sa Martins, Gakenia Muigai, Michael Crotty, Jodie Mashburn, Tess Hewlett, JM Rodriguez, Genevieve Carson, Marisa Jimenez, Christian Beasley and Hutter took on choreography assignments, as well as dancing duties for this SoCal original. The Brockus Project Space at the Brewery Arts Complex, 618B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 5-6, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 7, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; $10 advance, $15 at the door. urbannut.brownpapertickets.com. --Ann Haskins
5. Comedy with Eric Andre
Modern-day Gallagher Eric André brings his knockdown, drag-out Eric André Show Live -- during which he knocks down his set and drags out various people who look like celebrities but clearly aren't -- to the Echoplex. André's constitutionally violent show involves the spilling of milk and the crushing of sets -- including his desk. It's one of the most profound statements in this particular genre since Andy Kaufman's 1983 PBS special, in which he sat at a 10-foot-high desk and asked his ex-girlfriend penetrating questions. It's all part of André's mission to take disaffected co-host Hannibal Buress and the audience on yet another ride into the fractured, fractious mind of someone for whom vanity is an undiscovered country. Commemorative Eric André ponchos will be available for purchase (gee, thanks), and if you're worried about getting exploding milk or garbage on your nice clothes, just hide behind one of those big girders. That's what they're there for. The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; Tues., Dec. 3, 8 p.m.; $12 (18 and older). (213) 413-8200, attheecho.com. --D.C.